NASM EXAM MUST READ (very long but useful)
Well I will say that I just passed my test about 2 hours ago and couldn't wait to get home and post on this site. A little about my Nasm experience....
My first attempt of the test was in Syracuse where I had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to take it. I had studied up to that point for about a month and being the awful test taker I am was pretty nervous. I really went in there thinking I was going to pass the test because I am so passionate and love training myself. I used to be very overweight 293 lbs with 39% bodyfat (I am now 190 lbs with 11% BF) and figured If I could construct my diet, workouts, and other things to help myself achieve goals I thought were impossible then why wouldn't I be able to pass a simple test? When I got there the lady told me I wasn't schedule to take the exam which totally threw me off guard and got me worried. I sat there and waited 45 minutes to take the test which shouldn't have been the case in my opinion. Long story short I failed with a 42 and not to mention I had to wait 20 minutes after the test to find out because the proctor was new and had no clue how to use anything. Pretty lame
My second attempt was in Buffalo where once again I had to drive about an hour and 15 minutes to take it. After really buckling down and going over everything again ie. reading the book cover to cover, listening to mp3's while I worked out, slept, was in the car, etc. I really thought I was learning and that I had the terminology down. Well I went there and took the test feeling good and was sure that I passed only to see my result of a 69. I was so pissed and down on myself and really thought about driving off the road. I felt like a failure and that I was stupid, dumb, and it just wasn't meant to be. But you know what I talked to my family and friends, and they re assured me that if this was something I loved and had passion for than I had to keep going for it. I agreed so I waited the ever so long 3 days and schedules a re-test for the following week.
My 3rd attempt I really took full grasp of everything and was not going to allow myself to #1 pay for the test again, and #2 not pass a test that was just a test. I knew I had to learn the terminology inside and out, and even though I can articulate it to people, reading it from a computer screen looks and sounds completely different in my head. This being said I learned and memorized The study guide inside and out, watched the DVD's while following along in the book circling important terms and subjects that I remembered from the test, read the book on its own, watched the DVD's again, made flash cards, re wrote charts, etc. I did everything imaginable to retain the information and terminology. Well I drove yet again an hours and fifteen minutes to take it again in Buffalo. I went in feeling negative, my mom came with me this time for support (she's the best). We talked to whole way and as positive as she was being, I was being so negative. Then as we got closer I changed to positive again and told myself I could do it. I went into the test and finished it in like 35 minutes. I knew everything. Things i circled in the book, a few repeat questions, questions from the quizzes, study guide, dvd, book. everything I read I remembered once I saw it. I am pretty sure that I got 100% on it. If I didn't, it was super close.
Here are my tips:
STUDY A LITTLE EACH DAY. I TRIED TO LOAD A FULL SEMESTER OF TOPICS, TERMS, AND CHARTS INTO MY HEAD IN A WEEK. HAD I PLANNED BETTER, I WOULD HAVE STUDIED A LITTLE BIT DAY BY DAY AND TAKEN MY TIME.
BE POSITIVE AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE.. TELL THEM YOU ARE STUDYING AND THAT YOU CANT WAIT TO PASS IT AND THEY WILL BE MORE APT TO HELP QUIZ YOU, AND LET YOU PERFORM THE OPT MODEL OF ALL PHASES OF ALL TRAINING TYPES ON THEM.
USE EVERYTHING NASM SENDS YOU BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS, EVERYTHING ON THE TEST IS IN THOSE MATERIALS (DVD'S, BOOK, MP3'S, STUDY GUIDE).
THE PRACTICE TEST HELPED BUT CONFUSED ME MORE THAN ANYTHING BECAUSE LIKE MOST, I MEMORIZED IT AND WAS EXPECTING THOSE QUESTIONS. MY ADVICE IS TAKE IT ONCE AND DONT TAKE IT AGAIN. IF YOUR ANYTHING LIKE ME YOU WILL JUST CONFUSED YOURSELF AND TRICK YOURSELF INTO THINKING YOU UNDERSTAND IT, WHEN YOU HAVE JUST MEMORIZED IT. THOSE QUESTIONS ARENT ON THE TEST TRUST ME. MAYBE 1 OR 2, BUT IM PRETTY SURE GETTING A 1 OR 2 ON THE TEST ISN'T A PASSING SCORE.
I see that a lot of people give specific things to study on here. Listen it is good to know and understand every thing in the book. Is everything on the test, NO thank GOD. But to be honest, I drove myself nuts looking for tips, advice, suggestions, key terms and other ways to pass this thing. I even paid money for 700 questions that honestly gave me information that I already had in all the materials NASM gave me. Just treat it as any other course you have ever take. By that I mean when you were in Middle School or High school or college or graduate whatever, you wouldn't just try and learn everything in a week or so right? well some people might, but i don't retain info like that.
I didn't even need this for my job I just had bought it a long time ago and it was about to run out so I decided to take it. I literally cried when I failed, I know that sounds lame, but I am serious. I was so frustrated that I couldn't pass it twice!
Moral of the story is I know that I worked my ass off for a certification I did not need, but wanted to obtain. It is a great certification and has helped me in the way I look at things not only as a personal trainer, but as a student as well. Other certifications and awesome too so go with what your gut tells you. I chose NASM because I had the extra money for it, it was credible, and taught me things I personally had no clue about and thought I did. All in all it was a success, because most successful people fail a bunch of times before succeeding. That doesn't mean try and fail, but if you do, whatever you do, DONT GIVE UP. I am on cloud nine right now and am about to go bust out a ridiculous workout to celebrate.
GOOD LUCK and I hope this helps! Study everything!!!!!! USE ALL THE MATERIALS, don't waste your time finding tips. KNOW EVERYTHING!